Washington D.C. Medical Marijuana Law

Washington D.C. residents have some of the broadest rights to use and possess medical marijuana in the nation. The District of Columbia has implemented and fine-tuned a robust medical marijuana program that ensures patients can purchase and treat themselves with high-quality medical-grade cannabis.

A comprehensive understanding of the Washington D.C. program and D.C. laws will help you comply with all of the state’s regulations and gain the most benefit from medical marijuana. Keep reading to learn more about medical marijuana laws in D.C.

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Washington D.C. Medical Marijuana Law History

Washington D.C. passed an initiative to legalize medical marijuana in 1998. However, the U.S. Congress used budgetary measures to block the implementation of the program until 2009.

The D.C. government then enacted the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment of 2010 Initiative, allowing patients to purchase up to two ounces of usable cannabis per 30-day period.

The initial program allowed doctors to issue a recommendation for cannabis to patients with diagnoses from a list of qualifying medical conditions. In 2014, the D.C. Council ruled that doctors could recommend medical cannabis for any medical condition they deemed appropriate. A 2016 amendment to the law increased the purchase limit to four ounces.

As patients reported success and demand for medical cannabis grew, D.C. increased the maximum number of plants manufacturers could cultivate to 1,000. In 2018, they gave patients the right to shop at any dispensary they chose.

This enhancement enables patients to try more strains of cannabis and different delivery mechanisms to find the best therapeutic option.

In July 2022, D.C. began allowing patients to self-certify for medical cannabis, eliminating the need to obtain a doctor's recommendation. Patients must still apply for a card to State-licensed dispensaries and make purchases.

Marijuana Possession Laws in Washington D.C.

D.C. passed Initiative 71 in 2014, legalizing possession of up to two ounces of marijuana by anyone over 21. Registered patients may purchase up to eight ounces of marijuana per 30-day period, but they can only possess two ounces at a time. Always carry your medical marijuana card when you have cannabis on your person.

Individuals over 21 years of age can cultivate up to three mature and three immature marijuana plants in their homes. Be vigilant of where you possess marijuana within D.C. It remains federally prohibited and cannot be possessed in national parks or federal buildings.

Washington D.C. Public Consumption Laws

Public consumption of marijuana is illegal for both registered patients and recreational users. You cannot use cannabis anywhere that is open to the public, including parks, businesses, or other communal spaces.

You cannot consume cannabis in medical marijuana dispensaries or other medical facilities. You cannot consume adult-use cannabis in a vehicle while it is in motion or in a car parked on the street either.

Washington D.C. Cannabis DUI Laws

Washington D.C. has a zero-tolerance policy for impaired driving. A driver is legally impaired if a law enforcement officer observes that their ability to operate a motor vehicle is altered. There is no legal intoxication level and no exception for medical marijuana patients.

First offenses are punished by up to a $300 fine and 90 days imprisonment. Subsequent offenses are subject to harsher punishments, including a minimum $2,000 fine, a minimum of 10 days imprisonment, and a two-year suspended license.

Applying for A Washington D.C. Medical Marijuana Card?

If you suffer from a medical condition that causes symptoms that decrease your quality of life or diminish your ability to function, you may benefit from medical marijuana.

Enrolling in the Washington D.C. cannabis program gives you easy access to high-quality and well-regulated medication that can transform your life. The program is designed to maximize patient convenience, safety, and confidence.

The Sanctuary can help you complete each step of the application process to obtain an MMJ card. First, our caring staff can explain the program's rules and regulations to help you determine if you qualify for it.

We will then connect you with a skilled medical marijuana physician who can answer questions about cannabis's ability to manage your symptoms and issue a recommendation.

While you can self-certify for medical cannabis, meeting with an experienced physician will help rule out possible contraindications and interactions with your current treatments or medications.

Our team can then advise you on how to craft a strong application to maximize your likelihood of rapid approval so you can start purchasing medical marijuana as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. While all residents of Washington D.C. over 21 can possess up to two ounces of cannabis, there is no legal way to purchase recreational marijuana. The U.S. Congress can block and delay the legalization of retail sales through budgetary measures. As a result, there is no way to predict when or if recreational sales will ever be legal.

In D.C., you can legally possess flowers, prerolls, concentrates, edibles, vape cartridges, topical applications, tinctures, capsules, any other CBD or THC-related product sold by a licensed dispensary, marijuana seeds and seedlings, and related paraphernalia. You may also cultivate up to three mature and three immature plants.

You can only possess marijuana you obtain from a dispensary. Patients are limited to buying eight ounces per 30-day period. While possession of up to two ounces of cannabis is legal, sales are illegal between individuals or from a non-licensed dispensary or retailer.

As a registered patient, you can legally possess up to two ounces of marijuana. However, you can purchase up to eight ounces of dried marijuana or its equivalent in other forms within a rolling 30-day period. Your dispensary will log and track your purchases to ensure you do not exceed the purchase limit.

D.C. accepts out-of-state medical marijuana cards from any state with a comparable medical cannabis program. Laws change, so verify before traveling, but as of October 2022, D.C. accepts cards from 37 states and Puerto Rico.

Cannabis remains illegal under federal law. The federal government still classifies it as a Schedule I substance, making it illegal to transport cannabis across state lines, regardless of whether it’s for medical or personal use.

Yes. Individuals with a felony conviction are allowed to obtain medical marijuana cards in Washington D.C.